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Kevin McCarthy: On Thursday, Kevin McCarthy’s string of defeats in multiple rounds of voting continued its streak.
The House adjourned for a third day without a new speaker elected.
The three-day adjournment marked the most prolonged speaker contest in over 164 years.
As failed votes piled on, the pressure for McCarthy to end the impasse increased.
It remains to be seen if he can follow through, with the situation growing bleaker for his future political prospects.
The California Republican proposed major concessions to his opponents late Wednesday, but he has yet to lock the needed 218 votes to win the gavel.
Should the fight continue, his future is at risk of defections and loss of confidence as a GOP leader.
After the Thursday adjournment, Kevin McCarthy said negotiations were in progress, but he wouldn’t put a “timeline” on the 218 votes.
“So if this takes a little longer and it doesn’t meet your deadline, that’s okay,” said the Republican.
McCarthy addressed criticisms about the difference being unresolved before the contest for speaker started this week.
He said that they attempted to sort it out before January 3.
There have been discussions among Republicans as a majority are hoping to find a path forward.
According to a source, McCarthy’s allies and opponents were working to push for a deal on Thursday night to show progress.
Despite the belief that they made great strides, they are still working out some details.
An issue at hand is the fact that four Republicans are leaving on Friday due to various family issues.
Multiple sources say that McCarthy’s team is close to reaching an agreement with Rep. Chip Roy of Texas.
If they strike an agreement, they would be able to get the needed votes to adjourn for the night.
However, it still wouldn’t be enough to get McCarthy 218 votes, the number he needs to match.
There are other members whose concerns have yet to be addressed.
Lawmakers and moderates have grown impatient and frustrated over the concessions.
Many believe it may be a hurdle for the new GOP majority to govern, but they are likely to swallow them.
On Thursday, Kevin McCarthy was defiant in the face of the stiff headwinds.
He declared he would continue facing opposition until he struck a deal with his detractors.
“It’s all going to be this way until an agreement comes,” said the Republican.
“It’s easier if we’re able to all get an agreement together.”
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On Wednesday night, reports emerged of a series of new concessions.
Two sources claimed that Kevin McCarthy agreed to propose a rules change allowing one member to call for a vote to oust a sitting speaker.
He initially proposed a five-member threshold, down from the conference rules requiring half of the GOP to call for such a vote.
After the House adjourned on Thursday, McCarthy told reporters that he isn’t concerned about giving just one member the power to call for a vote outside the speaker.
“I’m not afraid,” he said, “I won’t be a weaker speaker.”
In addition, Kevin McCarthy agreed to allow more members of the Freedom Caucus to serve on the House Rules Committee.
The Committee dictates how and if bills come to the floor and votes on prioritized bills for the holdouts.
It includes proposing term limits for members and a border security plan.
However, Republican sources say that if the offers are accepted, it still won’t get him the 218 votes needed to be the speaker.
Although concessions could bring new support, other opponents raised concerns that have yet to be fully addressed.
McCarthy and concessions
The Republican already made several concessions to his opponents, but so far, the efforts have not been enough.
According to sources, the talks between McCarthy’s allies and holdouts on Wednesday had been the most serious and productive ones thus far.
In a sign of a breakthrough, a McCarthy-aligned super PAC agreed not to play in open Republican primaries in safe seats.
It was one of the more significant demands conservatives asked for, but McCarthy resisted until that point.
On Thursday morning, a Republican said they weren’t happy with the concessions but were willing to discuss them.
There is fear that lowering the threshold for a vote to oust a speaker to one member will make governing debt limit and funding, among other things, almost impossible.
“I don’t like the rules, but [I] am willing to hear discussions,” said the Republican. “I think they’re a mistake for the conference.”
“These handful of folks want a weak speaker with a four-vote majority.”
“The public will not like what they see of the GOP, I fear.”
House adjourns for third day without picking a speaker in longest in 164 years